Cancer support in primary care

Cancer support in primary care

Supporting the integration of Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer into primary care

We are committed to supporting the integration of Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer into primary care and improving our cancer screening rates throughout the catchment, by working with primary health care professionals.

Cancer screening programs

General practices play an important role in patient education and awareness and participation rates of cancer screening. We support general practices to establish effective practice systems which improve cancer screening rates. This support includes:

  • Improving recall and reminder systems
  • Strategies to increase participation
  • Utilising medical software
  • data cleansing and analysis
  • Staff education
  • Sourcing patient information resources

There are three national screening programs:

  1. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
  2. BreastScreen Australia
  3. National Cervical Screening Program

Cancer screening resources

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Videos for the Chinese Community

We partnered with Cancer Council Victoria to produce two videos to promote the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to members of the Chinese community. The videos are spoken in Mandarin with Traditional Chinese subtitles that can be read by both Mandarin and Cantonese speakers.

View the long version with instructions on how to use a bowel screening kit.

Support for this community in Chinese is also available on the Cancer Council Victoria website.

RACGP Redbook

Provides the clinical guidelines for preventative health. Section 9 outlines guidelines for early detection of cervical, breast and bowel cancer.

Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer

Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer (OCPs) detail key principles and recommendations for optimal care at critical points in the cancer continuum, from prevention and identification through to survivorship or end-of-life care, regardless of where people live or have cancer treatment.

The OCPs:

  • Provide a mandate for service improvement
  • Can drive service improvement priorities such as reducing unwanted variations in practice
  • Are relevant across all jurisdictions and have been adopted nationally
  • Are not intended to be or to replace detailed clinical practice guidelines


  • We are working with North Eastern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service (NEMICS) and South Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS) to ensure the OCPs are standard practice across all services to improve the patient cancer care experiences. OCPs are integrated into cancer service design and delivery and are also integrated into the cancer pages on HealthPathways Melbourne.
  • In 2017, as part of the statewide project to implement the Lung and Colorectal OCPs into primary health, EMPHN in collaboration with NEMICS produced Lung Cancer- Diagnosis to survivorship: what's new for GPs? webinar and accompanying MDM video. The MDM video gives an example of the case review and collaboration that a person with lung cancer referred to a specialist service would receive.
  • In 2018 the OCP project focused on Prostate and Oesophagogastric cancer. EMPHN produced a series of videos titled What’s new in prostate cancer treatment?, featuring Prof. Shomik Sengupta and Prof. Jeremy Millar.
  • The Victorian PHN Alliance has made Talking about PSA testing video to support GPs discussing PSA testing with men in different clinical scenarios.

For further information on the OCPs and the work being done, please visit the Victorian PHN Alliance website.

Cancer support services